Today was a cold and kind of gloomy day outside which just happens to be my favorite kind of weather. It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to just curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and some calming music. Sure, I know that things are going to heat up again and I’m sure it will be ridiculously muggy again by the weekend, but for now, this is perfect. I had my couch, my cats, my wine, my candles, all I needed was an album. Annie Fitzgerald’s “You & Me & The Sun” called out to my from my box of albums to review. I can’t tell you why but there was just something about the cover that seemed care-free and cozy so I put it in, got back on the couch under a blanket with the cats, and hit play.
The ten track album kicked off and carefree music took over my living room before Annie’s voice kicked in and took me away from the stress of everyday life. Her voice insantly gave me Sarah McLachlan vibes but there was something so unique about it at the same time. As “Be Like A Tree” (this opening track) played through, the sense of comfort I had been looking for for the night instantly took over. There was a reason this album spoke to me tonight and, although I was only about half way through this song, it was clear why and it was obvious that my gut was right.
“Listen Carefully” took over next and brought something a little more indie-rock with it. I instantly realized that Annie’s voice refuses to be pegged down. Although the first track was giving me strong Sarah McLachlan vibes, this one wasn’t. I can’t quite put my finger on what to compare Annie’s voice in this track to and that made me realize that she is just one of those vocalists that takes bits and pieces of influences but blends them with originality and passion creating a sound unlike anything else. Although the instrumentation in “Listen Carefully” (and the rest of this album for that matter) is stunning, it was Annie’s voice that had me completely stuck and captivated.
Just like Annie’s voice can’t be put into a box, neither can her styling and that was heard loud and clear as the album moved onto “Black & Blue”. This track brings a bluesy and grittier styling to the album that, at first shocked me, but then quickly became one of my favorite tracks on this album. The way Annie’s sweet voice dances over quick and almost harsh guitar strums is something that shouldn’t work but she does it so well. Adding a little jazz and a bit of soul in there, this is a stand out track from a standout musician with a stand out band.
“Feels Like Summer” well, for lack of a better term, feels like summer. Light-hearted and carefree but still full of emotion and passion, this was another track that left me a bit lost for words. Although I was still feeling ridiculously cozy with my fuzzy blanket and my wine, this song had me going to California in my mind. Just when I was getting used to the California sun, Annie whipped me back to the current gloomy (again, this is a good thing to me) world around me with “Goodbye Now”. This heartbreaking yet beautiful song had me absolutely stunned. I must have hit repeat three times before moving on. It was the perfect track to just sit back, drink my wine, and pet the cats. There were certain phrases that hit me to my core due to my most recent breakup but this song almost gave me a sense of closure that the dude never will. It wasn’t just the words that did that, it was Annie’s vocals and the beauty in them.
I have to be honest, I was reluctant to move on to “Rest of Me” after listening to “Goodbye Now” a couple of times. That song was just so freaking perfect and I was honestly ready to just fall asleep then and there with the sense of comfort it brought me but “Rest of Me” definitely made it worth continuing on with the journey that is ‘You & Me & The Sun’. The beat picked up just enough to completely change the soundscape that “Goodbye Now” had created while still keeping the mood light-hearted and calm. That vibe only escalated as the album moved onto the title track, “You & Me & The Sun”. This is a fun little number that had a smile stretching across my face within the first couple of seconds. I feel like this song showcases the range of Annie’s voice and almost her control of it. Each word is treated like it’s own phrase as far as the amount of passion in each word and the amount of thought that has been put into each one. I’m not just talking about the musicality of it, I also mean the word choice. It was during this song that I realized that Annie Fitzgerald is so much more than just a beautiful musician, she’s a poet and can fit words together in a truly magical way that many (myself included) would kill to be able to do.
“I Won’t Walk Away” completely changes the vibe again by bringing something a bit more minimalistic and light and airy with it. Annie’s breathy styling of vocals is something that I hadn’t heard previously on this album but something that I instantly loved. As the song continued on, that airiness slowly got more and more powerful much like the lyrics of the song. This masterful match-up of vocals to instrumentation to lyrics was genius and beautiful. “Spellbound”, the next track, was also beautiful but in a compeltely different way. This track felt a bit darker than the previous songs. There is something eerie about this track but still comforting. Annie’s voice seems to take the airness it had on “I Won’t Walk Away” and expand on it making it something hauntingly beautiful.
Closing out this quick yet stunning ten song album is “Oh Caroline”. I already knew I was going to want to go back to the beginning of this album and start it all over again but this track was the nail in the coffin. Sure, this was the last track but Annie still had tricks up her sleeves. Even though you get to hear some of those tricks in this song, as it ends, you know deep down that she has so many more hidden throughout this album that wouldn’t be caught with the first listen. “Oh Caroline” was the perfect last song for the album because it doesn’t end the album, it makes you want to just keep listening. That’s a rare thing for me to find especially on a weeknight where I should really be in bed already in preparation for another day of the day job.
Something drew me to Annie Fitzgerald’s ‘You & Me & The Sun’ tonight. Call it fate, call it magic, whatever you want to call it, I want to thank the powers that be for putting this album in my hands this evening. It was everythig I needed and more.
My Favorite Track(s): “Black & Blue”; “Goodbye Now”
For Fans Of: Hygge; Wine; Snuggling with pets; Fuzzy blankets
Daydream-ability: 7.2 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid behind me; Autumn ate Artie’s dinner
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.2 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.9 out of 10
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